- Location: Bay of Biscay, southwest France
- Attraction Type: Beach City
- Significance: Shorelines, Beaches, Surfing, Longboarding, Heritage, Museums, Casinos
- Best Time to visit: June and September
- How to Reach: Biarritz Anglet Bayonne International Airport is located within 3 km of the town center. It is connected to many major European destinations. There are regular flights connecting Biarritz to Paris as well. You can opt for a five-hour train journey from Paris to Biarritz, or a bus ride from Anglet, Pau, Hendaye or Bayonne. There are some trans-border buses from Spain as well.
- Nearest Airport: Biarritz Anglet Bayonne International Airport
The favorite haunt of Empress Eugenie, wife of Emperor Napoleon III is now a prominent surfing hub in the world. Biarritz, with its wonderful shoreline, great surf and a steady string of celebrity visitors is one of the most popular French destinations in the southwest region of France.
History of Biarritz
Biarritz was an old Viking settlement and an important whaling center from the 12th century onwards. It was also a place for great cultural interaction and amalgamation. The town gained added significance during the 18th century when Empress Eugenie built a palace here. The palace has presently been turned into a luxury hotel, called Hotel L’Palais.
Soon, the place became a favorite with royalties and the nobility from different parts of Europe. A number of British monarchs started to visit the place for vacations, including among others, Queen Victoria herself. The Russian monarch also visited this place on many occasions. Now, it is a popular tourist destination for tourists on the lookout for a relaxed time as well as some adventure, as the waves provide great surfing and longboarding opportunities.
Things to see in Biarritz
The entire town of Biarritz is replete with places to see. Despite its small size and political obscurity, the steady influx of the rich and the famous, including statesmen and monarchs from many countries have ensured that a number of important monuments and buildings have developed in this region. Some of the major landmarks that you cannot afford to miss during your visit to Biarritz include the following:
The Museum of the Sea: This museum has a wonderful collection of 24 aquariums. These contain a large number of exotic fishes, including sharks and seals. The Russian Orthodox Church: This church was built for the visiting Russian nobility in this island. The church is immediately recognizable because of its magnificent blue dome.
The Asiatica Museum: This is one of the best collections of Asian arts in France. There are great works from India, China, Nepal, and Tibet.
St. Martin’s Church: This church has its origin in the Middle Ages, built way back in the 12th century. The structure, as it now stands, was renovated in the 16th century.
The Chapelle Imperiale: This was built for Empress Eugenie. It is well known for its fascinating roof interior, and graceful tiling on the walls.
The Museum of Chocolate: As the name suggests, the museum tracks the development of chocolates, from extraction to production.
Things to do in Biarritz
Biarritz is one of the surfing capitals of the world. Surfers from all over the world arrive here for a great time. There are many companies that rent out surfing equipment. The waves are challenges for experienced and expert surfers, although the beginners can enjoy it too. The place is also the site for the annual Biarritz Surf Festival, which was founded in 1993. It is one of the foremost European longboarding and surfing events.
Accommodation in Biarritz
The hotels in Biarritz, in keeping with its high profile guest list, are usually luxurious. However, there are budget hotels too, satisfying the needs of the surfers and sportspersons who arrive here from all over the world. Hotel de l’Ocean, Inter-Hotel Amarys, and Maison Garnier are some of the most popular hotels in the town.